Midfielder Henderson scores crucial winner as Liverpool ward off Swansea
Liverpool: Jordan Henderson's 74th-minute winner gave Liverpool an extraordinary 4-3 win over Swansea City yesterday that maintained the club's impressive bid for a top-four Premier League finish.
Liverpool midfielder Jordan Henderson scores his team’s fourth goal past Swansea City’s Dutch goalkeeper Michel Vorm yesterday. Pic/AFP
The Liverpool midfielder claimed his second goal of the game by converting at the second attempt after Luis Suarez's shot had been deflected into his path by visiting captain Ashley Williams.
Daniel Sturridge also scored twice, while Swansea responded impressively with a brace from Wilfried Bony and a goal from Liverpool old boy Jonjo Shelvey seeing them level the game at 2-2 and 3-3.
An entertaining first half featured five goals in the opening 36 minutes and left Liverpool in command, although far from convincing, as they took a 3-2 lead into the half-time break.
The three goals also took Liverpool's tally of first-half league goals this season to an astonishing 46 — 16 more than free-scoring Manchester City — but it was to Swansea's credit that they refused to be swept aside.
Liverpool struck after barely three minutes as Sturridge wrote himself into the Premier League history books, becoming just the second player, after Manchester United's Ruud van Nistelrooy, to score in eight consecutive games.
It was a fittingly memorable goal, as Raheem Sterling pounced on a loose pass from Angel Rangel and produced a magnificent through ball that allowed Sturridge to round advancing goalkeeper Michel Vorm and score.
Sterling forced Vorm into a diving stop soon after, but Liverpool's anxious play in defence was already becoming evident by the time Henderson doubled the lead after 20 minutes.
The Swansea defence backed off, allowing Sturridge to cut in purposefully from the right and play a short pass to Henderson, who planted an unstoppable finish past Vorm from just outside the area.